Public Records Request Guidelines

The Rhode Island Ethics Commission adheres to the Access to Public Records Act, R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-1, et. seq., and has instituted the following procedures to help you obtain public records:

1. Records requests are accepted by our Public Records Unit, either orally or in writing, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

2. In most cases, you do not need to submit a written request to inspect records as most Commission public records, including those available pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act (R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-35-2), are readily available for inspection during regular business hours at the Commission Office and may be available for delivery via email upon request.  R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-3(c). 

3. You may be asked to submit your request in writing where it involves:  search and retrieval; multiple categories of records; voluminous documents; redaction; documents in storage; or other such circumstance.  You may complete a copy of the Commission’s Public Records Request Form, which may be obtained at the Commission office or on its website, or you may otherwise submit your request in writing.

4. Records requests can be made:

  • Via telephone at (401)-222-3790, Ext. 0.In person at 40 Fountain Street, 8th Floor, Providence, Rhode Island 02903;
  • Via email at;
  • Via US mail or in person at: Rhode Island Ethics Commission, ATTN: Public Records Unit, 40 Fountain Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903;

5. Financial Disclosure Statements filed with the Commission for calendar years 2017 to present can be accessed via the Commission’s online access portal found on the Commission’s website at (then proceed to the link entitled “View Financial Disclosure Statements”). 

6. You are not required to provide identification or the reason you seek the information, and your right to access public records will not depend upon providing identification or reasons.

7. In order to ensure that you are provided with the public records you seek in an expeditious manner, please indicate: 1) a complete description of the records sought in a manner that will permit the Commission staff to identify and locate them; and 2) the method by which you would like delivery of the response (e.g. email, US postal service, etc.). 

8. Please be advised that the Access to Public Records Act allows a public body ten (10) business days to respond, which can be extended an additional twenty (20) business days for “good cause.”  We appreciate your understanding and patience.

9. If you wish to inspect public records that are currently in use by the Commission or which must be retrieved from storage, the Commission will contact you and arrange a time for inspection at the Commission office. 

10. If you wish to obtain photocopies of public records, the cost is fifteen cents ($0.15) per page for documents copied on standard or legal size paper.  Additionally, the cost for search and retrieval is fifteen dollars ($15.00) per hour, although there is no charge for the first hour of search or retrieval.  The Commission will provide an estimate of charges, if any, prior to the Commission fulfilling your request. 

11. All payments for copies of records shall be paid in advance of delivery, or at such later time as the Commission may specify.  All persons requesting delivery of records shall be responsible for the actual cost of delivery.  All checks/money orders shall be payable to the State of Rhode Island.

12. If you believe that you have been denied access to public records, you have the right to file a review petition with the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission.  If you are still not satisfied, you may file a complaint with the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General or initiate proceedings in Rhode Island Superior Court. 

13. The Rhode Island Ethics Commission is committed to providing you with public records in an expeditious and courteous manner. 

Download a copy of the Public Records Request Form below.